My Rockin’ Awesome Wife
Let me tell you, I’ve got an awesome wife! She hasn’t felt good all week - Mike made her sick with some kind of head cold/sinus thing, but she got out there on the tandem with us today and rocked it even though she still feels bad! What a woman!
Our plan for the day was a 60 miler through Fair Grove and Strafford. To ward off the rain, we actually carried our rain gear (it worked), but the wind was more of a pain than we hoped for.
The first 30 miles were really quite fun. We had the wind to our backs for the entire loop down to Valley Water Mill, out around Fellows Lake and on to Fair Grove.
With the push from the wind, Mike hardly got ahead of us at all!
As we were coming up to Highway 65, we met a group of cyclists departing the parking spot there. Pam commented she thought they looked like a group of folks who attend our daughter Libby’s church. They have a group (mostly women) who are actually quite active riders and have invited her to join them numerous times but she doesn’t have the bike to keep up with them (or the inclination). I couldn’t say if it was them or not, and just figured they were on their way to Strafford.
We had planned to stop in at the Subway in Fair Grove for 2nd breakfast, and wouldn’t you know it, while we were sitting there, that group came riding up!
Pam asked them, and sure enough, they all knew Libby! We sent her this picture, telling her “we found some new cycling friends”, and everyone got a good laugh out of it.
As we left Fair Grove behind us, the tailwind we had enjoyed earlier turned into a headwind we definitely weren’t enjoying! With two riders to catch the wind, and a good series of hills to haul up on the way back, the tandem can be a lot of work. Our average speed for the 15 miles between Fair Grove and Strafford dropped from 16.1 mph all the way down to 12.9 mph.
About halfway through that stretch, Mike experienced a “mechanical” of sorts.
One of his water bottle cages sheared off at one of the bolts. We had to stop and take it off completely to keep it out of his legs.
With that resolved, we looped out east of Strafford before turning back to town. That section didn’t bode well for us, as we managed to flat our front tire coming into town for the second mechanical of the day. Luckily, it managed to get us to the c-store where we grabbed a snack and had a little better place to change it.
Our pace picked up a little on the way home from Strafford and we managed to beat our overall time from the last time we rode that route about a month ago by a whole whoppin’ minute! I guess you can say we are consistently slow!
Given the wind, I was happy to finish the 60 miles with a 15.0 average speed. It was enough to make us feel like we worked, and with Pam not feeling good it was faster than I expected it to be.
You can click the map above for the entire GPS track.
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